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Panici's '87 325is E30 - Restomod - M52, Standalone ECU, Shaved Bay

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    Great attention to detail and excellent documentation. Subscribed.
    sigpic

    Comment


      Originally posted by Cephas View Post
      Read through the thread. Love the restore and thanks for documenting the rear subframe. That's on the top of my to-do list.

      Have you gotten around to replacing that leaky gas tank yet? The job really wasn't to terrible when I tackled it on my track car, but I did have a friend there to help. It's nice to know that I'm not sloshing fuel out of the top of my tank when taking a corner at 60 mph anymore :)

      I also noticed you were having some trouble with your old amp. Have you read http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=191119 at all? It sounds like you may have wired it up incorrectly causing the amp to struggle.

      Keep on keepin' on! Your car looks great and the work you've put in looks even better!
      Thanks for the kind words! Hopefully my subframe resto can give you an idea of what is involved. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

      I haven't had a chance to drop the gas tank yet. I suspect the lines to the rear expansion tank are all in rough shape, and that is where my leak is from. I'm going to attempt to delete the expansion tank if possible when I tear into it. For now, as long as I keep the tank at or below 40L, there is no liquid leak (No gas smell either).

      As for the stereo, if you check right at the bottom of post #110, you can see that I've solved the issue. The amp was wired correctly, and just didn't have enough power (as I originally hypothesized). I replaced it with a bigger unit. I've been using the stereo almost every time I drive, and it sounds pretty great, for a headless setup I put together quickly.


      Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
      LMK what you are left with when this is all over, my friend might want to purchase it :up:
      Pretty sure I will be keeping all of the spare houndstooth parts, never know what I might need in the future.

      Originally posted by bobaflesh View Post
      Great attention to detail and excellent documentation. Subscribed.
      Thanks! I try to be detail oriented, sometimes it's the little things that make the difference.
      Last edited by Panici; 01-27-2017, 06:34 PM.

      My Build Threads:
      '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
      '90 Mazda Miata NA
      '04 Jeep TJ
      '05 Yamaha R6

      Comment


        Over the past week I've adjusted my valves and painted my valvecover.
        Here's a visual step-by-step.

        I apologize in advance for the cellphone pictures. The color rendering isn't great and depends on the lighting conditions. In the future I'll take new "finished" pictures with my SLR. The finished cover is red, with a hint of orange.

        I call it my Testarossa M20 (italian for redhead)


        Teaser shot first!


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        Valve cover removed, valves adjusted as per many DIYs found online.


        -

        Couple rounds of degreaser and scrubbing later

        -

        Two thick coats of VHT Wrinkle Red.
        5 minutes flash drying time, then second coat. Repeated again for 3rd coat (not pictured)


        -

        I wasn't willing to bake the cover in any oven that I cook with, so I hit it with a heat gun for ~15 minutes to kickstart the wrinkle process

        Left it to dry overnight then installed the partially cured cover on the car



        After a couple of drives and heat-cycles later, the texture and color improved


        -

        Left it for 5 days of driving and then attempted to sand.
        Both a wooden sanding block and electric palm sander weren't satisfactory. What ended up working was a gasket scraper to get the thick paint off, then sanding by hand with 60 grit sandpaper. Followed up with 100 grit sandpaper to get the deep scratches out.


        It's not a perfect job by any means.
        My prep work could have been better, baking in an oven would have given a more consistent texture, and the raised portions would benefit from further sanding with finer grit paper.

        I actually really like the patina it has right now. It looks like it's been installed for a while, rather then a brand-new shiny part sticking out like a sore thumb.






        -

        -

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        Last edited by Panici; 03-08-2018, 02:51 PM.

        My Build Threads:
        '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
        '90 Mazda Miata NA
        '04 Jeep TJ
        '05 Yamaha R6

        Comment


          This post is intentionally left blank for future updates. ;)

          My Build Threads:
          '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
          '90 Mazda Miata NA
          '04 Jeep TJ
          '05 Yamaha R6

          Comment


            Not to be a jerk, but if you're going to refinish the valve cover, you really should do the intake manifold as well.
            sigpic
            1987 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16: Vintage Racer
            2010 BMW (E90) 335xi sedan: Grocery Getter

            Comment


              Originally posted by Emre View Post
              Not to be a jerk, but if you're going to refinish the valve cover, you really should do the intake manifold as well.
              You're not being a jerk at all! The rest of my engine bay needs some serious TLC.
              That said, it's SIGNIFICANTLY better then when I first got it, when it was coated in cosmoline and years of filth.
              Compare the new valve cover pictures to the pictures on page 2 from when I did my timing belt and water pump.

              Or this picture from page 3 when I replaced the rotor and cap:



              I refinished the valve cover as an easy side project while I was adjusting the valves.
              I do plan to refinish the intake manifold, but it's obviously more involved to take it all apart. (compared to pulling the VC)

              I've actually done very little to the car so far in terms of visual improvements/restoration. I've been focusing on mechanical condition. But don't worry, it'll come with time :)

              -

              -
              Last edited by Panici; 03-08-2018, 02:48 PM.

              My Build Threads:
              '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
              '90 Mazda Miata NA
              '04 Jeep TJ
              '05 Yamaha R6

              Comment


                Second track evening - October 12th, 2016


                For this trackday, I removed the rear seat and swapped in a lightweight battery.
                The car weighed ~2649lbs on my quickest lap, including ~10L of gasoline and driver weight.

                Some weights for reference:
                Rear seat bottom - 12.8lbs
                Rear seat back - 26.6lbs
                Rear seat sound mat - 1.4lbs
                Rear small carpet, below rear seat (inc. foam pieces) - 2lbs
                Difference between normal lead acid and lightweight battery - 41.3lbs
                The car weighed ~2472.7lbs without fuel or driver.

                -

                I dropped my best time by almost 4.5s compared to the previous track evening!

                My best time was a 1:33.078.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlW4QCDrsvA



                ---------------------------------------------------


                This may be surprising, but I'm not planning to take my E30 back to the track too many more times.

                Let me explain:
                When I drive/ride fast at the track, sometimes I get what is known as "red mist".

                I am able to run significantly faster then when i'm operating normally, but I am not able to actively and consciously improve my skills. I also disregard machine condition and focus on running the fastest possible time. When I get into this mode I don't learn, and I don't enjoy myself as much.

                For reference, on my trackbike, I could run a consistent slow-to-medium laptime in intermediate group while riding normally. But when I went into "red mist" mode I was running slow advanced group laptimes.

                The first time I had my E30 at the track, I maybe got into this mindset for one or two laps only, before I reigned myself in.
                At the second track evening, I ran in this mode for at least half of my laps. It also didn't help that I was physically and mentally tired that evening.

                I had some very fast laps with the car on the limit. I know I was passing significantly newer (and probably more powerful) cars.

                Trouble is, I never intended to make my E30 into a track car, rather I just want a comfortable summer DD. Running my car hard like this can only end in sadness when I bump it on a wall, or worse. I got lucky with a mis-shift last time, which could have easily cost me the motor.


                My plan as of now is to get back to riding my trackbike next summer, and potentially get involved in some organized racing.
                Long term, as time and budget allows, I'll be building a track car (thinking about an E36 328i), that I can thrash without worry. Then I'd be interested in the local Trillium chapter and going to some other tracks.


                I'm not saying I will never track my E30 again, as I am sure I will. But right now I'm not willing to risk all the hard work i've put into the car when I could be getting my kicks on my R6 at the track.


                ---------------------------------------------------


                Anyways, here are some more videos from the evening.
                Including a miss-shift that I got very lucky with. I hit ~8000rpm. I attribute it holding together to two things:
                1. Low mileage (~170k km), which was almost entirely behind an Automatic transmission.
                2. I had adjusted my valve clearance to spec about a week before this track event.

                It looks like I clutched in around 7000rpm when I felt something wasn't right, only to try to engage the clutch again, which spiked it up to ~8000rpm.

                The overrev happened at the beginning of the track event, and the car ran normal/strong for the rest of the night. Time will tell if there is stress damage to the valvetrain.

                You can see the mis-shift here:
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2x5dQ8O8K0



                Quickest 2-person lap @2860lbs:
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0VXPRgFiGw




                And of course some pictures:

                Rust found after taking the entire rear seat out. This was likely the first time the rear seat had been removed, as the underpadding was still glued in place under the rear interior panels (rear door cards?).



                Temporary lightweight battery setup I taped in place at the track. This stayed in place, as the battery is only a few pounds. I took a chance running this without proper mounting, or current/charging monitoring. I did check the mounting and temperature of the battery after each session.



















                Driver's side front tire the next day. Took the majority of the punishment as the quickest corners on the track are rights.



                Driver's side rear:



                Passenger side front:



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                Last edited by Panici; 05-25-2020, 08:41 PM.

                My Build Threads:
                '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                '90 Mazda Miata NA
                '04 Jeep TJ
                '05 Yamaha R6

                Comment


                  Winter storage - October 23rd, 2016

                  I followed the same checklist I made in 2015 (see post #95 on page 7), with the addition of thoroughly cleaning all rain gutters, as the cover is not waterproof.

                  I definitely put the car away a few weeks early, but it was worth the piece of mind. The last thing I wanted was to have the nighttime temperature drop below freezing and the roads to be salted. Since the car isn't stored at my student house, I would have to drive it through the salty roads to store it.

                  Before I tucked the car away, I removed the driver's seat. The plan is to tackle it over the winter.









                  Last edited by Panici; 03-08-2018, 01:53 PM.

                  My Build Threads:
                  '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                  '90 Mazda Miata NA
                  '04 Jeep TJ
                  '05 Yamaha R6

                  Comment


                    Fall/Winter plans - November 8th, 2016

                    Before the snow flies, I want to finish washing up the last of my 14" bottlecap collection. I got a little past half way through the remaining wheels on the 6th, before my pressure washer ran out of gas. Embarrassingly, all of the jerry cans in the garage were empty!

                    -

                    Over the winter, I want to fix my driver's seat (mechanically and visually)
                    I also want to finish the modification/restoration on the spare set of taillight buckets I have.

                    -

                    I moved (and stored) the remainder of my spare houndstooth interior at my parents house. I then tried my hand at cleaning up a spare headrest, as well as my original driver's seat.

                    Using a small carpet cleaning type machine (marketed for cleaning up pet stains), it looks like I was able to get the water marks/stains out of my driver's seat and spare headrest.

                    I didn't have a chance to see what it looked like when completely dry, so I will update with further pictures in the future.

                    UPDATE: Water stain is gone from spare headrest, but unfortunately still present on the seat bottom. I will try a second cleaning to see if that helps.



                    Last edited by Panici; 03-08-2018, 02:00 PM.

                    My Build Threads:
                    '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                    '90 Mazda Miata NA
                    '04 Jeep TJ
                    '05 Yamaha R6

                    Comment


                      Not much to update E30 wise.

                      I did attempt to clean my Houndstooth driver's seat bottom again, and I used "oxygen booster" this time as well.
                      I don't think it came out any cleaner. I don't remember the condition of my spare seat bottom, obviously I'll use the better of the two when I rebuild the seat.

                      I asked my parents for a set of new 15" 'weave centercaps for Christmas, so I potentially will have the Euroweaves on next year (if I buy new tires).

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                      In unrelated news, I picked up a 1999 Honda Civic Hatchback for $500 a few weeks ago. I've been having fun fixing it up, and making videos in the process. I've always liked this bodystyle (EK hatchback), which is strange as I am normally drawn to square vehicles with sharp lines.

                      It's definitely an economy car. Driving it makes me miss the E30's comfortable sport seats!

                      Here's a couple shots (of surprisingly poor image quality? Maybe the lighting was bad?) from last weekend, when I drove the honda to visit my parents (and the sleeping E30!)
                      It's actually shorter then the E30, which was surprising.





                      -

                      And a shot of the day I towed it home.
                      I'm a sucker for bright colors if you couldn't tell!

                      I'm still torn as to what color to paint my E30 eventually. I'm going to try out multiple colors over a few years using plastidip, so I can get an idea of what I like on the E30's shape.


                      Last edited by Panici; 03-08-2018, 01:59 PM.

                      My Build Threads:
                      '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                      '90 Mazda Miata NA
                      '04 Jeep TJ
                      '05 Yamaha R6

                      Comment


                        throw the bottlecaps on the honda
                        Simon
                        Current Car:
                        -2000 330i Estate, the dad-mobile
                        -2002 MR2 Spyder, the solo-mobile



                        Make R3V Great Again -2020

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
                          throw the bottlecaps on the honda
                          It's funny you mention that, I had the same thought! ;)
                          I have 3 sets of bottlecaps sitting in the basement. I think a set painted white would look especially good with the red.

                          I'm just not sure that I want to spend the money to have the 1-year old tires transferred over from the Honda steelies. (And to buy the correct lug nuts)

                          It also may look funny with stock ride height (I have no plans to lower it)
                          If I end up keeping the car long-term, I might let my curiosity get the best of me and put the bottlecaps on.

                          My Build Threads:
                          '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                          '90 Mazda Miata NA
                          '04 Jeep TJ
                          '05 Yamaha R6

                          Comment


                            Welcome to 2017!

                            I got a few E30 related Christmas presents this year.
                            Two coffee mugs with pictures of my E30 on them, a set of brand new 15" centercaps for my Euroweaves, a 5lb Purple-K fire extinguisher, and two sets of hog-ring pliers + a box of hog rings.

                            I've moved my houndstooth driver's seat indoors. Hoping to take apart and swap parts with my extra passenger seat some time this month.


                            As a sidenote, a Purple-K extinguisher is the most effective dry chemical in fighting Class B (flammable liquid) fires.






                            Last edited by Panici; 03-08-2018, 02:03 PM.

                            My Build Threads:
                            '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                            '90 Mazda Miata NA
                            '04 Jeep TJ
                            '05 Yamaha R6

                            Comment


                              -
                              Time warp! It's been more then a year since my last post.

                              Believe it or not, I've been working on this build thread for the past 5 months (or so) restoring all of the photos. Photobucket changed their terms of service and wanted to charge me $400/year.

                              It was a painstaking process to find and re-upload all 731 photos in this thread, but it's finally done!

                              -----------

                              As for the E30, progress has been slow. I finally graduated in 2017 and was down in the USA for 6 months receiving job training.
                              I'm currently renting a lovely hose with my Fiancee, and it has A THREE CAR GARAGE!

                              I made a special trip up from the USA on the first weekend of December, just to move my E30 to the new house (before the roads were salted).
                              I've been setting up shop and have done a little work to the E30 in the last few months.

                              Stay tuned for updates in the next few weeks!










                              My Build Threads:
                              '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
                              '90 Mazda Miata NA
                              '04 Jeep TJ
                              '05 Yamaha R6

                              Comment


                                That garage is bigger than the amount of garage envy I have for you. Stoked for build progress
                                1984 Delphin 318i 2 door

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